Rogue Scholar Posts

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Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Mike Taylor

I’m currently working on a paper about the AMNH’s rearing Barosaurus mount. (That’s just one of the multiple reasons I am currently obsessed by Barosaurus .) It’s a fascinating process: more of a history project than a scientific one. It’s throwing up all sorts of things. Here’s one. In 1992, the year after the mount went up, S. O. Landry gave a talk at the annual meeting of American Zoologist about this mount.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

If I had to sum up my main research program over the past 20+ years, it would be, “Why pneumatic bone?” Or as I typically put it in my talks, most bone has marrow inside, so if you find bone with air inside, someone has some explaining to do (f’rinstance). One of the reasons I […]

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

This past summer I did a post on my birthday card from Brian Engh, but I haven’t posted about my birthday present from him: this handmade fired-clay sculpture of Parasaurolophus . I don’t have a ton to say about it, other than that — as you can tell from the photos — it looks pretty darned convincing. I adore the fern leaf impressions in the base. This sits on the mantle in our living room. My eye wanders to it in stray moments.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

This is a Galeamopus , roughly two feet long, sculpted by James Herrmann (who also made the life-size Aquilops sculpture and bust) for the Cincinnati Museum Center. Here’s what it looks like on the other side. From behind. And from the front. I dig this.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

You may recall that sculptor James Herrmann did a life-size bronze of Aquilops (shown above) back in 2017. I love it, and I’d get one in a heartbeat if I had the disposable income or the space in which to display it. Since I have neither, I got in touch with James and asked if he’d be interested in doing a casting of just the bust.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

Someone on Facebook asked whether sauropods had subcutaneous fat, and by the time my answer hit five paragraphs I thought, “The merciful thing to do here is blog this and link to it.” So here are some things to keep in mind regarding the integumentary systems of sauropods. Emu dissection at UC Santa Cruz back in 2004. Note the fat pad on the chest and how it abruptly comes to an end.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

This post started out as a comment on this thread, kicked off by Dale McInnes, in which Mike Habib got into a discussion with Mike Taylor about the max size of sauropods. Stand by for some arm-waving.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Mike Taylor

In writing the recent preprint “ Xenoposeidon is the earliest known rebbachisaurid sauropod dinosaur” (Taylor 2017), it was invaluable to have a 3D model of the Xenoposeidon vertebra available. Here’s a short clip of viewing the model in the free MeshLab program.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

I floated this idea on Fist Full of Podcasts, and Andrew Stuck gave it a shout-out in the comments, so I’m promoting it to a post. The idea, briefly, is that sauropods grew fast and had enormous energy demands and even though horsetails and pine needles are surprisingly nutritious (Hummel et al. 2008), they probably suck to eat all the time.